Huawei takes Sweden to court after being banned from 5G market

The pill does not pass. Huawei announced on Sunday that it had successfully sued Sweden. The Chinese telecoms and smartphone giant cannot digest having been excluded from the 5G market in October 2020. In a press release, the Shenzhen group torpedoes this decision: The Swedish authorities’ decision to discriminate against Huawei and exclude it from the 5G launch has seriously harmed Huawei’s investments in Sweden, in violation of Sweden’s international commitments. »

Concretely, Huawei has initiated arbitration proceedings “against the Kingdom of Sweden” before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which is part of the World Bank Group. These referred “a number of measures” of Stockholm with regard to ” investments [du groupe] in Sweden “ regarding 5G. In its missive, Huawei does not specify the amount of damages it is claiming. According to public television IVR, the sum initially requested was 5.2 billion Swedish crowns (495 million euros). But it could be, in the end, much higher.

Huawei causes concern from many encouraging countries

To justify its banishment from Huawei, Sweden has shown that its products dedicated to 5G constitute a threat to national security. At the time, the Chinese group aroused concern in the United States and many European countries. Some feared that the Chinese group’s infrastructures would be diverted from their functions and used for espionage purposes on behalf of Beijing. Others feared the threat of a “switch off”, that is to say that China could, in the event of a conflict, decide to turn off the mobile networks. Huawei has always dismissed these concerns, widely relayed by the United States, which maintains particularly harsh sanctions against the Chinese group.

Huawei was not the only Chinese OEM to be banned in Sweden. It was the same for his compatriot ZTE. Both must, moreover, remove all their telecom equipment in the country by January 1, 2025. Sweden is not the first country to have banned Huawei. The United States was the first to ask China’s luggage clip industry. In Europe, this is also the case in the United Kingdom. But also, to a certain extent, of France. France has taken measures to gradually exclude this equipment manufacturer, whose products are used in the networks of Bouygues Telecom and SFR.

Ericsson hit by restrictions

The decision of the Swedish government, in 2020, immediately provoked the ire of Beijing. “Sweden should adopt an objective and impartial attitude, reconsider its decision, in order to avoid a negative impact for the activities of Swedish companies in China”, had launched, in the process, a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy. Beijing was quick to follow through on its threats. These directly targeted Ericsson, the world number two in telecom equipment and Huawei’s great rival. In China, this has seen its portions of China’s massive 5G market shrink significantly.

But despite this, Ericsson managed to hold its own. The group took advantage of restrictions targeting Huawei in other countries, particularly the United States, to compensate for this shortfall. It thus ended the 2021 financial year on a high note. Last week, Ericsson announced that its sales fell by 3%, to 71.3 billion crowns (6.83 billion euros), in the fourth quarter.